When Dreams Die
“But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years” Luke 1:7. “…God sent an angel…to a virgin pledged to be married…her name was Mary… ‘You will be with child and give birth to a son…’” Luke 1:31
Both of these women had dreams, one had prayed for decades to become pregnant while the other was dreaming of romantic moments to be shared with her fiancé. One saw her life as a mother but had only been a wife, while the other saw herself as a wife but was called to be a mother. God had very different plans and timing for both of these faithful women. For Elizabeth, every celebrated birthday must have come with pain as she realized that one of her greatest desires must be surrendered. For Mary, she must have battled fear and confusion as her dream was drastically altered. As a young woman, when Elizabeth saw herself as a mother she never knew it wouldn’t be until she was old enough to be a great-grandmother. When Mary thought of her new life with the man of her dreams, she never imagined having to begin their relationship judged, ridiculed and with an infant.
Through their stories we witness two dreams …two women…broken hearts…altered realities. They experienced and even embraced a life apart from what they had dreamed. We can be encouraged by their responses to God’s altered plans for their lives. Both women suffered but both women were faithful. Both surrendered their heart’s desire so God could do significant things that were preordained for the greater kingdom. We are reading their stories today because they lived their lives with the understanding that God was writing their story, not the other way around. Their stories made it into the Holy Writ because their pain was their offering and their suffering mattered.
I know that God encourages us to place dreams in our hearts but we must remember to make space in them for God. If we live our lives trying to write our own stories introducing God into certain chapters, we will miss the whole point of life and death…joy and pain…suffering and healing…eternal significance. God has been writing our stories since He breathed life into us and we are to be open and surrendered to walk out the storyline. Like our predecessors we must not hold on too tightly to the desires of our hearts, but reserve the final outcome to God. We must trust when there is nothing to trust, and we must find our joy in Him when there is nothing to be joyful about. We must realize that His perfect pathways are through our dashed or delayed dreams. We cannot fathom the ways and whys of God, but we can trust His heart and love for us in every circumstance.
"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine” Isaiah 55:8
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